In Spanish and Portuguese, a pesar de means in (de)spite of. But in both languages, pesar has never meant spite. pesar hails from Vulgar Latin *pēsāre, from Classical Latin pēnsāre. But then how does pesar yield the meaning in spite of?


Despite or in spite of comes from en dépit de in French which comes from the Latin despectus: to look at something from top to bottom, i.e. examine thoroughly.

And a pesar de is from the Latin pensare and means to determine the weight of something. It's funny as the logic is great. I weigh something and then determine some of thing is the right thing,

So, they both relate to examining something closely or thoroughly.


  • Lambie, do you know if in English "to weigh" can also mean to examine something?
    – Schilive
    May 3 at 1:20
  • Olá, é minha primeira resposta por aqui, tentarei ajudar!
  • Hi, that's my first answer, I'll try to help!

The correct should be "apesar" - "a"+"pesar" (together) You can see that in this song from Chico Buarque, called "Apesar de você".

But, you can see in this dictionary that "apesar de" can be "pesar de", the "a" falls, haha. They are equivalent, like posted before.


So, "apesar de", match "in spite of" in English.

  • 1
    Boas-vindas ao site, BritoR e obrigado pela contribuição, mas perceba que você não responde à pergunta "how does pesar yield the meaning in spite of?". Ótimo você ter citado fontes, isso certamente contribui para a qualidade de uma resposta, mas nesse caso um dicionário teria sido mais apropriado (por exemplo este, que inclusive nota que "pesar de" é sinônimo de "apesar de", o que complementaria tua postagem).
    – stafusa
    May 2 at 6:32
  • [So, X matches Y and English, with a capital e.]
    – Lambie
    May 2 at 14:15

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